Yes, I'm still on the road but we will have a great review for you saturday. Plus I have reviews of Jeff Koons at the MCA, an interview with one of the most exciting young artists today, then there's part II of PORT's interview with Brad Cloepfil (here's part I
) and a round robin of exciting museum shows in the Midwest. Dang that is a lot of stuff... Plus PORT's other writers are covering Portland.
Damien Hirst's The Kingdom of The Father at PAM last Fall
To tide you over Tyler Green considers some of the latest Hirst coverage
My take, "journalists" are primarily a knee jerk reaction in the written record and they are probably pretty sick of having Hirst jerking them every month for the past 15 years. They are kind of addicted to him but nothing they say about him changes anything anymore... so it feels like everyone is on automatic pilot and everyone feels a little used.
I'm a historian so I don't have the twitchy fingers of a journalist... so I'll make this historical prediction, Hirst is going to be THE artist of the 90's and likely the aughts as well. Sure not all of his work is great but a great deal of it is very good compared to the rest of Chelsea's best fare. My favorite stuff was in the 90's (way better than Matthew Barney in the aughts) but I still think he turns out enough good work to take seriously now... just like Koons he's in it for the long haul and has entered that point where he's competing only with himself. Hirst is still the artist who best exemplifies our age. Life, death, Pop, minimalism, media tweaking/manipulation etc... he has it all. Including a penchant for avoiding museums.
For more Hirsting here is Arcy's review of Hirst
's show last year at PAM and my review of a then newly unveiled Hirst in a group show at PAM
Don't get me wrong, most of the time I enjoy, or am at least amused by, Hirst's work. But looking at that Golden Calf, the first that forms in my mind is a rather gruesome parody... Hirst himself floating in a tank, his head crowned with that grinning diamond skull and his body stuffed with money squeezing out of the seams. Maybe an umbilical cord that the money is coming through, connected to some metaphor for the art world on the outside of the tank. (Maybe his inspiration, Charles Saatchi, could be stuffing the money?)
Like I said, I like Hirst most of the time, and I don't have the same knee jerk angst about the art market that many seem to... It's just too tempting.
I think Hirst's plan to sell direct is great... and inevitable.
I predict you'll see a lot more popular artists bypassing the typical 50/50, 60/40 agreements with galleries and dealers. Much like musicians have already done with record companies and distributors alike.
Galleries and dealers will find themselves in a dilemma of sorts...The more popular their artists become, the larger share they'll want of the work they make. Seems obvious. Why should a popular artist give away half when it's almost a guarantee they'll sell the work? I can understand early on, when the gallery/dealer is taking a gamble on an unknown artist. But after they've proven themselves, it's the artist, and not the gallery that stands alone.
It has allowed those that truly create new and original work to bypass the gatekeepers and skimmers of old, and go straight to the viewer. Hirst's venture is both logical and overdue.
These are good times to be an artist.
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